Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Biography and Artist's Statement

I was born in a poisoned industrial city and both my grandfathers made their livings painting smokestacks.  My interest in the remnants of the Industrial Age--- both the material realm and the metaphysical--- stems from my childhood.  I continue to be intrigued by things that are on their way out or dying and how we react at that moment. Do we flee? Try to hold things together? Or bring back an earlier version as nostalgia?  Nostalgia allows for total group denial of the past and the creation of a false past based on consensus that embodies the desire of the majority.  I left home and moved to New York City where I studied art. I began to work as an assistant to the sculptor, Ronald Bladen, and did that until I began to support myself as a laborer. At twenty eight I was diagnosed with a life threatening illness.  This changed the way I experienced time and history. I have spent my life making art.

Artist Statement:
I was initially working in plastic to create figurative anthropomorphic vignettes. These pieces mimic the surface of bronze and the associations and connections retained and reflected in that metallic surface.  My toy-like figures are very small but brutal. Brutality is like our circulatory system, it runs through us and through the systems we invent and organize. My figures express the mundane brutality that allows for war, sets us to mindless labor, or rears its face in our relationships, despite ourselves, despite love.  

From this, my work has evolved to where I use inanimate objects such as boats, missiles, or buildings, in a way which allows me to deal with these same issues of brutality without making direct use of the human body as the stage upon which these narratives are played out. It is a challenge to utilize inanimate objects to create a system through which I can continue this exploration with a minimum of sentiment.

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